Long Beach police would like to remind residents and visitors of Long Beach that “celebratory” gunfire is both illegal and dangerous, according to their announcement today.
Shooting a firearm into the air can result in injuries and deaths. A falling bullet can strike a person, often in the head or upper body. The action has caused such incidents across the country, according to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
In California, discharging a firearm into the air is a felony and punishable by up to three years in state prison. If a stray bullet strikes a person, more serious consequences exist such as the shooter being arrested for murder, according to the LBPD.
Long Beach police will be out in force on New Year’s Eve.
“Whether attending a gathering or staying home, I hope that everyone is able to welcome the New Year alongside family and friends,” Deputy Chief Richard Conant said in a statement. “We would just like to remind everyone to think about their actions and celebrate responsibly.”
Residents are strongly encouraged to report gunfire, and any other suspicious or criminal activity they see taking place, with an exact location and physical description of the suspect(s) and/or vehicle(s), along with license plate information, if it can be done safely.
Most 9-1-1 calls from cell phones in Long Beach are directed to the Communications Center, however, callers can program the Communications Dispatch phone number, (562) 435-6711, into their phones.
Residents are also encouraged to consider the following safety tips, courtesy of the LBPD:
- Plan ahead by identifying a “designated driver” before any drinking begins
- Remember that drinking lowers inhibitions and may cause you to make poor decisions
- If you do drink, use a ride-sharing service or public transportation, or ask a sober friend for a ride home
- Trust your instincts and recognize warning signs
- Social media posts may alert others you are out for the evening, leaving your home open to burglary
- All fireworks are illegal in the City of LB and are punishable by $1,000 fine, six months of jail, or both
- Report drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1
- Report suspicious activity immediately by calling 9-1-1; if you see something … say something!